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Full text of "To The Lighthouse"

TO   THE   LIGHTHOUSE

other end of the table her husband was saying
about the square root of one thousand two
hundred and fifty-three, which happened to be
the number on his railway ticket.

What did it all mean?   To this day she had no
notion.   A square root?   What was that?   Her
sons knew.    She leant on them;   on cubes and
square roots;   that was what they were talking
about now;  on Voltaire and Madame de Stael;
on the character of Napoleon;   on the French
system of land tenure;   on Lord Rosebery;   on
Creevey's Memoirs:   she let it uphold her and
sustain her, this admirable fabric of the masculine
intelligence, which ran up and down, crossed thi^
"way and that,  like iron  girders  spanning the
swaying fabric, upholding the world, so that she
could trust herself to it utterly, even shut her eyes,;
or flicker them for a moment, as a child staring
up from its pillow winks at the myriad layers ofj
the leaves of a tree.   Then she woke up.   It was)
still   being   fabricated.     William   Bankes   was
praising the Waverley novels.

He read one of them every six months, he said.
And why should that make Charles Tansley
angry? He rushed in (all, thought Mrs. Ramsay,
because Prue will not be nice to him) and de-i
nounced the Waverley novels when he knew
nothing about it, nothing about it whatsoever,
164